Burn Permits

The County Burn Permit Service provides citizens with instant access to permits for the purpose of burning natural vegetation.

  • Permits may be purchased at https://app.egovmt.com/burnpermit/ or in person at the following locations:
    • Carbon County Personal Services Building – 10 S Oakes, Red Lodge
    • Carbon County Administration Building – 17 11th St W, Red Lodge
    • Carbon County Sheriff’s Office – 102 Broadway Ave N, Red Lodge
    • Carbon County Extension Office – Joliet
    • Bridger Public Library – 119 W Broadway Ave, Bridger
  • Pay with a debit/credit card or electronic check (online) or cash/check (in person)
  • Add multiple burn locations to a single permit
  • Print and/or email your permit
  • Permits may activated online or by calling 1-844-286-7968, 24/7.
  • An interactive map is available to view all current burn activity within the County


Why did the County implement a burn permit system?

  • This service will track the locations of all approved burns in the County which will help us more easily determine whether a smoke plume or fire is an emergency. We hope to reduce the number of times fire departments are dispatch to false alarms.
  • The burn permit services is more flexible than issuing State 1 Fire Restrictions for the entire County for an extended period. We hope to use the service in substitution of Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, which will allow people to burn when conditions are right to do so.
  • The County Fire Warden may shut down the service and not allow any permits to be activated if weather conditions are not conducive to burning – reducing the risk of controlled burns escaping.
  • The service will reduce the number of non-emergent calls into the 911 dispatch center (i.e., you no longer need to call the Sheriff’s Office to notify them you are burning).

When is a permit needed?

  • A burn permit is needed year-round if you intend on conducting a slash-burning fire, land-clearing fire, debris-burning fire or any other type of open fire greater than 48 inches in diameter.

How much do permits cost?

  • A burn permit costs $5.00 and is good for the calendar year.  Permits must be renewed annually after the 1st of the year.  You may burn multiple times and at multiple locations under the same permit.

What responsibilities am I assuming when I light my burn?

  • Fires shall not be ignited when weather, wind, and other conditions make it hazardous to do so.
  • You must have enough water, hand tools/equipment, and people to keep your fire under control.
  • If you do not activate your permit before burning, the local fire department may be dispatched to your fire, even though it is under control, and you may be cited.
  • Burn permit must be accessible at the burn location
  • Someone must remain with the fire until it is completely out (no smoke or hot embers present)

What can I legally burn?

  • Natural vegetation is the ONLY thing that your burn permit allows you to burn.
  • You are not allowed to burn prohibited materials as outline in the Montana DEQ air quality regulations.  This includes, but is not limited to garbage, buildings, asphalt shingles, campers, railroad ties, plastic products, paper products, cardboard, manure and dead animals.

Can I still burn my leaves in my burning barrel and have a recreational fire?

  • Yes, fires measuring less than 48 inches in diameter that are surrounded by nonflammable area or structure (i.e., fire ring) are allowed without a burn permit. This assumes no county-wide fire restrictions are in place.

Do I need a permit if I burn within my City or Town?

  • Yes, the incorporated communities of Bearcreek, Bridger, Joliet, Fromberg, and Red Lodge have adopted the County Burn Permit Service.  Residents in those communities can obtain and activate their permit at www.burnpermits.mt.gov.